Private Pilot License (PPL)
Minimum FAA Flight Training Requirements: 35 total flight hours; 20 hours dual (with a flight instructor), 5 hours of solo flight, with one solo a 100 NM cross-country flight with landings at three points (a “cross-country” flight requires a point of landing that is more than 50 nm straight-line distance from the original point of departure), 3 hours of cross-country flying, and 3 hours of night flight that includes a flight of more than 10 NM and 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport. In addition, the PPL candidate must complete 3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments, and 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test within 60 days of the test date.
Instrument Rating (IR)
To apply for an Instrument Rating, you must hold a current Private Pilot License or be concurrently applying for a Private Pilot License with an airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift rating appropriate to the instrument rating sought. You must also have logged a minimum of 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command. As part of your training for the Instrument Rating, you must log a total of at least 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, and at least 15 of those flight hours must be from an authorized instructor in the aircraft category for the instrument rating sought. The applicant for the Instrument Rating must also complete a cross-country flight under instrument flight rules, and this flight must be a distance of at least 250 nm along airways or ATC-directed routing, and include an instrument approach at each airport, with three different kinds of approaches. Finally, the applicant must complete at least 3 hours of instrument training that is appropriate to the instrument rating sought from an authorized instructor in preparation for the checkride within two calendar months before the examination date.
Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
- 250 hours of flight time, 100 hours of which must be in powered aircraft, and 50 must be in airplanes.
- 100 hours of pilot-in-command time, 50 of which must be in airplanes.
- 50 hours of cross-country time, 10 of which must be in an airplane.
- 20 hours of training, including 10 of instrument, 10 of complex or TAA, and a smattering of cross-country and practical test preparation.
- 10 hours of solo training, including a smattering of cross-country and night.
Additional class ratings, such as adding a multiengine rating to single-engine commercial pilot certificate or adding a single-engine rating to a multiengine commercial pilot certificate, will take additional training in that class. FAR 61.129 has all the specifics.
For pilots who train in an approved FAR Part 141 program, the commercial certificate can be earned with less experience, at a minimum of 190 hours.
Multi-Engine Rating (MER)
Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)
Certified Multi-Engine Instructor (CMEI)